LONDON (AFP) – Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has confirmed his interest in Atletico Madrid striker Sergio Aguero and also hopes to sign Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri by the end of July.
Mancini is aware that City captain Carlos Tevez is desperate to leave Eastlands and the Italian admitted on Saturday that Aguero would be the ideal replacement for his fellow Argentine international.
Aguero, 23, has already made it clear he would be willing to move to the Premier League and, with Chelsea and Real Madrid also interested in the forward, Mancini is ready to swoop first if Tevez leaves.
City are understood to want in the region of £50 million ($80.6 million) for Tevez and have turned down a bid of £40 million ($64.5 million) from Brazilian side Corinthians, while Juventus are also in the race.
Mancini told Sky Sports News: “Aguero is a player that can play for Manchester City because he is young and he is a good player like Carlos.
He can score a lot of goals and can play with Mario (Balotelli), with Edin (Dzeko)… it could be (that he joins).”
Mancini’s spending will not end there if the ambitious Italian gets his way as he is also keen to tie up a deal for Nasri.
Nasri has one year left on his contract with the Gunners and has been linked with moves to City and Manchester United, although Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is determined to keep the £20 million ($32 million) star.
The France playmaker was named in Arsenal’s starting line-up for their friendly against Hangzhou Greentown in China on Saturday, but Mancini believes he can persuade the Gunners to sell.
Asked if an offer has been made for Nasri, Mancini said: “I don’t know in this moment, I don’t know the situation.
“I hope that we can buy because we need other players, and I hope that this player can arrive before the end of the month.
“Samir is under contract with Arsenal. Also for Samir it depends on many things.”
If Mancini can land Aguero and Nasri it would go a long way to easing the blow of Tevez’s likely departure.
Tevez wants to quit City to be closer to his family in Argentina and Mancini admits he respects the former United player’s wishes.
“When you talk about a player like Carlos, it’s difficult because Carlos is a fantastic player, a good guy for me,” he said.
“Probably if we lose Carlos, we lose an important player. But it is important that every player is happy to stay here or in our team, this is the most important thing for me.
“Every time I spoke to Carlos he never said to me ‘I want to leave’, he said he is missing his daughters, his family.
“I am very sorry if Carlos wants to leave because for me he is a good man and he’s a fantastic player, but I respect his decision.”